Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is changing the world in which we live.
Some industries regard A.I. as a ‘threat’ to jobs, but what about the finance sector – do accountants need to be concerned with how tech advancements might affect their career plans?
New A.I. technology includes data mining, machine learning, speech recognition, image recognition, and sentiment analysis. As far as job security is concerned, A.I. is creating better career prospects in our sector as the need increases for experts to implement these technologies into businesses finance divisions.
Let’s look at what the benefits of these new technologies are in real terms.
How is A.I. Supporting Accountancy?
A.I. has already been adopted by finance teams globally. A recent Forbes article stated,
“Many of the once tedious tasks performed by accountants are now performed by artificial intelligence (A.I.), allowing professionals to focus on more advisory roles that bring greater value to clients.”
The finance sector has been developing A.I. tech for years to give deeper insights and make better decisions. The three main areas include:
- Providing more accurate and cheaper data, which supports better decision making
- Helps generate insights from analysis of data
- Frees up time spent on manual accounting tasks, which can spend more usefully elsewhere
So, let’s look at how A.I. is helping change the accounting and finance sector and the benefits that will come from it.
1. Reducing Human Intervention
Keeping stringent control over numbers and figures has always been a core tenet of an accountant’s role.
But A.I. is now reducing the need for such in-depth human involvement in bookkeeping.
Automating data, reports, and accounts allows a greater focus on research-oriented tasks, increasing the accountant’s value, which is an example of A.I. helping rather than hindering future career prospects.
The benefit of reducing human intervention ultimately reduces the overall potential for errors – let me explain.
2. Errorless Accounting
To err is to be human – but not in A.I.-backed accountancy.
Reducing the risk of errors occurring in bookkeeping is built-into the role and the psyche of an accountant. But with advancements in A.I., automatic processes are now ensuring fast and errorless calculations.
Time spent checking for errors and remedying rogue calculations associated with manual accounting will soon be a thing of the past. For example, for an audit, A.I. software can quickly and easily locate any outliers or exceptions.
As artificial intelligence advances even further, finance professionals will have more time to work on new concepts and improve the business, making them more valuable to employers.
3. Adjusting Tactics and Strategy
Using A.I. to take care of administrative tasks such as data inputting and scanning for errors will free up accountants to hone their strategy and tactical skills.
A.I. could be responsible for changing the accountant’s job role, as menial tasks are increasingly automated. But this does not mean that jobs will be at risk; it means that there will be more time to develop better models.
And, of course, many businesses will still want the human interface. As with A.I. advancements in other sectors, there is still a distinct need for personal service, something that robotics cannot replace.
The Long-Term Vision of A.I. in Accountancy
The ICAEW recently published a report looking at A.I.’s role in accountancy and how we can expect it to unfold in the longer-term.
An accountant aims to radically improve the quality of a business’s investment decisions, which the ICAEW predicts A.I. will do.
The report states, “To realise this potential, the profession needs to focus on the fundamental business problems it aims to solve, and imagine how new technologies can transform its approach to them.”
Businesses are already adopting A.I. and machine learning techniques across various areas, such as handling large volumes of data, assessing complex and changing patterns and managing consistency.
As I mentioned earlier, A.I. is not a threat to accountancy. MTI College, Sacramento, which specialises in information technology, predicts that accountants’ employment opportunities will grow by 10% by 2026.
Will Accounting Skills Change Due to A.I.?
The abilities needed to excel in accountancy have been the same for hundreds of years, but now disruptive A.I. has added new skills to this list.
With so much data to work with, finance professionals in the A.I. age must possess excellent analytical talent. Technical skills must accompany a deep understanding of the business’s needs and the context surrounding the data.
If you are currently looking for finance professionals to join your team, have you considered the skills these individuals will need now and in the near future?
If your business is in the process of hiring your next finance professional, we can help. We are expert recruiters of finance talent in the North West, and we can help you discover what skills you need from your next accountant to drive your business forwards.
Today, get in touch on 01282 930930 or contact me here to discuss your future finance and accounting hires.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations, including SME’s to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs, and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930.